Author’s Notes: Character death. My point here was that Angel pretty much gave up what he wanted and rather was living a life of resigned acceptance.
Okay, this is a bit harsh but I haven’t been a happy camper with the way the shows are going. Glory wasn’t around and Buffy didn’t already die.
Also this was one of my first fics, so it’s pretty terrible… Read at your own risk. *grin*
Disclaimer: Own nothing. All belongs to Joss, ME, Fox, et.al.
Pairing: C/A implied.
Distribution: My site, EverySixSeconds; sites currently with permission to host my fics; all others please ask.
Originally posted: Jan 30, 2002
Angel re-read the letter again before folding it and setting it aside. Dawn’s words – all of them – were a surprise. Buffy shouldn’t have died without him knowing. In that split second, he realized that it mattered to him that she was alive somewhere in the world. But he had to face the awful finality: she wasn’t coming back and he would never see her smile again or hear her say his name in that questioning tone. He would never get the chance to tell her all the things that he should have, she would never meet Connor, and he could never tell her that he did love her. Angel closed his eyes against the pain, trying in vain to stop the tears that were forming.
Angel closed the last book and placed it carefully back in the box. Cordelia padded quietly into the kitchen behind him with Connor. “Say good morning to Daddy, my little angel.” Leaning over she kissed Angel on the cheek and put Connor in his lap. “You’ve been hiding down here by yourself since yesterday afternoon reading those damn books. C’mon Angel, what gives? What new torture is Buffy trying to inflict now?”
“Cordelia, Buffy’s dead. These were some of her things. Dawn just wanted me to have them.”
“Oh. Well, I always knew she wouldn’t last long. Can you feed Connor? I’ve got an appointment at the salon – getting my hair cut again. Bye.”
Angel sighed. Cordelia was truly beautiful and could be sweet and caring – some of the time. She was also vain, cruel and tactless a lot of the time as well. But, she really seemed to care for him and for Connor. If he admitted it, Angel knew he cared for her too. It wasn’t an intense, passionate, well, ok – Buffy kind of love, but it was comfortable, warm. And, he had been lonely for so long, it was nice to have someone share his life.
“Ok, big guy. Let’s get you some food.” Angel smiled at his son. After breakfast and playtime, Conner was sleeping peacefully on his blanket on the floor. Taking one more look at the sleeping baby, Angel sat down at his desk and began to write.
I’m so very sorry to hear about Buffy. I know you probably won’t believe me, but I did love your sister very much. Any good that I do in my life, I owe all of the credit to her. She made me see beyond the evil things that I had done, to find the person that I could be and not the demon that I was.
I loved her from the moment I saw her at Hemory High. I told her that once. I said that I could see her heart and I wanted to protect it with my own. But you know that, you read it too. I’m ashamed to admit that I wasn’t able to protect her heart from me.
I only survived my time in hell by memories and thoughts of Buffy, of our time together. Visions of walking on a beach with her, holding her, were so vivid that I survived to fight another day. And, it was her love that brought me out of hell or at least I’ll always think that. The spot where I returned was the same spot where Buffy placed the ring that I had given her. We never talked about what had happened – perhaps we should have – but neither of us wanted to relive that pain. Being together was enough – at least for me, for a while.
Do you really think it was easy for me to leave her? Especially after all that she had done for me? All that she had risked in saving my life? Every day until the day I left – no, even after I left – was hard. Being with her and yet not being with her was a torment to rival my experience in hell. Each day with Buffy brought me closer to peace and happiness, each day soothed the ache in my soul. I wanted her, desperately. Yet, it was a danger that I could not afford. I knew that it was too great of a risk for us to be together. Part of me had hoped to take the easy way out, hoping that I wouldn’t survive the Mayor’s ascension. I hated leaving her that night, but I knew it was the only way.
I always wanted more for Buffy than what I could give her. She deserved all the best that the world had to offer. In my guilt over all the horrible things that I had done in my life, especially those that I had inflicted on her, I felt that I would never be good enough. How could our life together not be stained by those events? I never knew until now that she forgave everything, that despite herself she continued to love me, both demon and man. I would have loved for Buffy to meet Connor, and I’m sorry now that I wasn’t strong enough to call her. I wasn’t sure she would understand and I wasn’t sure I wanted to explain the weakness in me that had led me to Darla.
Buffy was an amazing person. She was beautiful and strong, sweet and caring. She could be vicious when hurt or cornered. In the few fights that we did have, she often struck back where she knew it would hurt the most. I understood her though. The connection that we had was rare, special. Yet so much had changed in both our lives. I’m sorry that we never found a way back to each other.
Dawn, I hope that you always find love in your life. I hope that you never reach a point where you settle for companionship and the warmth of another person’s touch rather than risk your heart for love.
I have to live with the fact that I never had another chance to tell Buffy how much she meant to me, how much I missed her, how much I loved her. Knowing that she still loved me, that she was waiting for me. it’s a pain that I hope you never know.
Thank you for sending her journals to me. I’ll treasure them always.
P/S Thanks for the warning about the new slayer.
Dawn put the letter in her pocket and headed out the door. Dawn sat down on Buffy’s grave with crossed legs. Quietly, she studied the red and white roses, knowing that they came from Angel. “Buffy, I know you’re listening. I think there’s something that you should hear.” She began to read Angel’s letter.